A step forward for Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky’s private member’s bill for adults with developmental disabilities.

Noah and Gregory’s Law passed Second Reading on Thursday afternoon.

She says the bill would ensure that continuous services and support are provided to adults with developmental disabilities after they turn 18.

Gretzky says the bill would eliminate the gap in services and the years-long waitlist that tens of thousands of families currently face, as their children with developmental disabilities transition into adulthood.

At a press conference Thursday, Gretzky was joined by parent advocate Sharon Gabison, who highlighted the host of anxieties many families face as their child enters adulthood and they must suddenly "prove" that their adult child still has a disability and continues to need support.

Gretzky also shared the stories of the Windsor-area mothers whose sons this bill is named after — parents whose children live with developmental disabilities, and who have been impacted by this gap in support.

“When people with developmental disabilities turn 18, they lose their youth support and have to go through another application process to apply for adult support,” said Gretzky. “Even though many families apply well in advance of a child turning 18, and even though those supports are supposed to begin as soon as the applicant turns 18, many individuals fall into a service gap – they are cut off from their youth support, and forced to wait years for the adult support to kick in.”

She says an estimated 14,000 to 16,000 people with developmental disabilities are stuck on the waitlist for adult support. 

If passed, Gretzky says her bill would guarantee that anyone with a developmental disability receiving youth support will continue receiving these services until their adult support takes effect. 

“Adults with developmental disabilities are presently in crisis,” Gabison said. “They are in limbo waiting for assessments, and must often wait years to get the support they so desperately need."